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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  December 11, 2015 12:00am-1:01am PST

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>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a new big movie. it is called "the big short," directed by adam mckay and stars among others steve carell. >> he's got storytelling and most of all he's got information. so by the time i was done reading the book, i felt like i had a pretty good shape of what led to the 2008 collapse, yet had been completely engaged with these characters that are so amazingly played by these actors. but i just never read a book that did that much where i was learning, where i was engaged, where it was dramatic, tragic, funny, and the way lewis writes, it's all so effortless. >> rose: also this evening, film director ron howard talking about his new movie. [ heartbeat ] >> what's fascinating is you don't know what the characters are going to go through and experience and you don't know
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who's going to make it and not going to make it but you also don't have an idea about just the tension that can be involved in navigating these various crises points. whatever tone, whatever genre, every movie has to be a suspense movie. that's what i've discovered making apollo 13. i think this. [ heartbeat ] is kind of a cousin -- [ heartbeat ] icousin --"in thee sea." is a cousin. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose.
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>> rose: "the big short" is the new film from director and n adaptation of michael lewis' 2010 book of the same name, follows a group of outsiders in the world of finance who bet against the credit and housing market in the years leading up to the 2007 crisis. here's the trailer for the film. (phone ringing) >> michael, how are you? i found something really interesting. the whole housing market is propped up on these bad loans. they will fail. >> the housing market is rock solid. >> it's a time bomb. mike who gets his haircut at supercuts and doesn't wear shoes knows more than alan greenspan? >> dr. mike, yes, he does.
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i'med off, american people getting screwed by the big banks. >> i'm getting madder and marred and this guy walks into my office and said -- >> there is some shady stuff going down. >> a lot of banks are having a big old party. a few outsiders saw what no one else could. >> the whole world economy might collapse. >> i'm sure the world's banks have more incentive than greed. >> you're wrong. no one's paying attention. the banks got greedy, and we can profit off their stupidity. >> you want to bet against the banks is this. >> i think we're either high or having a stroke. >> fraud is never going to work. eventually things go south. when the hell did we forget all that?
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>> how can the banks let this happened? >> fueled by stupidity. that's not stupidity, that's fraud. >> tell me the difference between stupid and illegal and i'll have my wife's brother arrested. (laughter) >> do you have any idea what you just did? you just bet against the american economy. >> if you're wrong, you can lose it all. >> the banks defrauded the american people. now we can kick 'em in the teeth. >> okay, here we go! if you target strippers with bad loans. >> you won't be able to refinance. >> on all my loans? what do you mean all your loans? >> i have five houses and a condo. >> rose: joining me is adam mckay and one of the as far as stephesteve carell. pleased to have them both here.
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hollywood occupies wall street. there you are. of course, the other stars are here, too. >> yeah, how did you do that? i still cannot figure it out. >> rose: is this a comedy or tragedy? >> it's both. you know, it's a true story, so we knew from the very beginning it would never adhere to one strict genre. you know, when these guys, the real people that steve plays and christian bale and all these great actors, when they found out there was a bubble and no one else knew about it, they were very excited. it was exciting times. they had a lot of energy and then it changed and became tragic. so it's both. >> rose: you really wanted to make this movie a movie about wall street and the crash. >> yeah, i read this book and i really felt like michael lewis' book was one of the books of our times. i really felt like it dealt with a lot of issues. >> rose: why? i think it dealt with culture, it dealt with character and then it dealt with
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information. and you don't often see those three things intertwined so brilliantly. and by the time i was done reading it, i felt like i had really looked behind the curtain of wall street to some degree. i know it's more complicated than that. so we decided with this movie we were going to try to go through it all. we were going to try to explain it, have great characters and go for the whole thing lewis pulled off with his book. >> rose: it's different than anchor man 1 and 2, isn't it? >> can you explain? i did. (laughter) >> character development was very similar. and would be at the monitor -- adam like to work, has a microphone. >> rose: a mega phone? he has a microphone, it's amplified. >> it's actually that loud.-3 (laughter) >> and he barks orders. he, you know, gives us --
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>> i'm very german when i direct. i want exactness, i want marks to be hit. (laughter) >> it was actually similar in a way to anchor man, except the things we were talking about. >> rose: how was it similar? it was similar in the sense you had complete freedom to fail and you knew adam would protect you and if you stunk, he wouldn't put it in the movie. it's a great protection. it's great as an actor to be able to do that. >> rose: so tell me who this is that you portray, stephen iseman. >> the character in the movie is mark baum. mr. iseman showed up the second day i was shooting and was instructed to lay low, don't hang out at the monitor, sort of be a fly on the wall.
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within minutes, he was giving adam notes, walking on the set giving me instructions. (laughter) they were good. >> the guy's a smart guy. i went to him and said, steve, great to have you here, but throughout the movie, when you see the movie, you're aware of carell doing mark baum is constantly getting phone calls in the middle of conversations and walking up to people. so i went to the real guy and said, steve, you can't come behind the monitor -- in the middle, he got a phone call and walked away. yet he's always trying to tell you what to do. he's definitely on the side of the angels, he's a good guy. >> rose: did you talk to him about portraying the role? >> yeah, but it's sort of creepy doing that. >> rose: creepy? creepy. >> rose: i thought that's what great actors did. >> well, it's weird because you don't want to feel like you're stealing their soul. you know, you don't want to feel
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like you're examining them, they're some sort of science project. when you're sitting across from them in a diner on the upper east side, ooh, look what he did with his hafnltd that's weird. you're doing it, but you don't want to feel like you're -- you know, you're taking advantage in any way. i just wanted to be respectful and to pay respect to him as a person in the portrayal. >> rose: it's hard to say, after your last performance, that it or the last one that was nominated for an oscar that anything is a turn growr because you've already made the turn. (laughter) >> that could be interpreted so many different ways. >> rose: you know what i meant, don't you? >> adam is going through the same sort of thing because he's known for anchor man. >> rose: sure. i've known adam since 1990. anyone who knows him knows this is not a big surprise. >> rose: the fact that he would want to make this kind of film? >> and that he would do it so
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elegantly. i mean, he's so smart and so passionate, it's a perfect fit. >> rose: somebody said in writing, in reading this piece and other pieces about him and we've talked about it with will before, that in the group of comedians, he's the funniest guy in the room though you've never seen him on the screen. >> definitely. he's the guy at the microphone, at the monitor lobbying everyone's favorite lines out, who are the favorite lines in the movie, and it's your guy to say it without laughing and without ruining his delivery. so he is the funniest person there. >> rose: why no room for will farrell here. >> i discussed it with him and said there are some cameos here. he said, no, you're on your own. but god bless will. he came and visited the set. he had no other reason to be there other than to support the
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guy he works with. we had a great time. he's been amazing. >> rose: people who watch this show heard me interview michael ten times including about the "the big short." tell me the story that you tell in the film. >> obviously michael lewis is an amazing writer, so the book is a book everyone should read, but what i loved about it was he really burrows down on these four or five outsiders who, despite the numbers being cartoonishly obvious that there was a housing bubble, for some reason this little group of guys are the ones. right away, i was, like, what does that say about our culture. on top of that, he's got humor, rhythm, storytelling and most of all information. so by the time i was done reading the book, i felt like i had a pretty good shape of what
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led to the 2008 collapse, yet i had been completely engaged with these characters that are so amazingly played by these actors. but i just never read a book that did that much where i was learning, where i was engaged, where it was dramatic, tragic, funny, and the way lewis writes, it's all so effortless. >> rose: i assume you knew all the stuff about derivatives and all the financial -- >> you're correct, and that's why adam called (laughter) >> rose: he knew you knew. he knew it would be so easy for me to improvise in that world. it's hard because adam likes to improvise. to improvise a language you don't speak is trickiaged you have to throw things in your back pocket and bone up a little bit. >> rose: how to pronounce them? >> learn them phonetically. (laughter) but some days some of the actors were better.
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jeer my strong who plays vinny was really articulate. i didn't know much about it and i read the book and the script and learned as much as i could before we started. >> rose: did you learn something about the financial industry because of it? >> i did. it's terrifying. >> rose: terrifying how it could have happened? nobody smart saw it coming. >> yeah. >> rose: but they knew something about the housing market. >> it's terrifying it could happen again and nothing has really changed. >> well, at the very beginning to have the movie, we say all they did was look. that's it. it's terrifying a whole society can be looking to the right when the information is to the left. i think the total amount of people that really caught this were, like, 20, 22 people. obviously, we focus on these four or five. but it's just amazing that billions of people can be looking in one direction. >> rose: where michael found them, too.
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>> that's lewis. >> rose: all of a sund knew where he was and -- because he was looking for a way to tell the story and then he found a few guys who got it and bet on their own. >> and then picked the characters that would make the best story, too. like he really found the true outsiders. i mean, if you look at some of the other people at bat, the christian bale character, dr. michael burry, he listens to speed metal, and when i talked to him is one of the most honest, decent people you've ever met in your life. >> rose: isn't it something that we can see the range. >> comedy is really hard and there is so many talented actors in comedy and there is a limited group of about 20 of them who can do what they do and no one else can do it. so it's fun to see a guy like steve who we've known for years is brilliant.
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he's so tactical and works so hard. he almost has a method approach to comedy and to see him put it towards drama is really cool. >> rose: do you have a method approach to comedy? >> i don't know what i'm doing. >> rose: you know it's true. yeah. too bad. deal with it. (laughter) >> rose: don't share it. that's all right. >> have you been to his house? >> rose: no, i haven't been invited. and there is a reason, too. (laughter) >> it's on a mountaintop. >> rose: yes, it is. he has several -- not wives, that would be creepy -- but he has several attendants, he calls hem. >> rose: what do they do? they're beautiful and they make him relaxed. he has 17 kids and a lot of
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fans. (laughter) >> i didn't know that about steve carell. >> rose: you have to go do another show somewhere. >> i do. >> rose: we'll miss you. we'll continue this talk. we'll spend the rest of the program talking about you. >> please don't, you're going to lose your audience. >> rose: are you making another movie? >> i'm making a movie with emma stone in the spring directed by dayton and farris who directed little miss sunshine and independents about the bat of the sexes and i'm playing bob by riggs and she's playing billie jean king. >> rose: are you involved in this. >> yes, producing it. no, not at all. >> rose: let's go to the first scene where steve's character is talking to his wife. >> hey! excuse me! hi, honey. >> the therapist called. you did it again. >> there were no cabs.
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what was i supposed to do? >> you're running around like you have to right every wrong in the world. you sound sin so angry. >> fine. i'm a mean guy and i'me ssed of. people care about the ball game or what actresses went into rehab. >> i think you should try medication. >> no, no, we agreed, it interfered with work. >> maybe it's time to quit. i love my job. you hate your job. i love my job. you're miserable. i love my job. i love my job, honey. >> mark -- cynthia, i'm okay. i really am. hey, hey, hey! no, that's my cap. that's my cap. that is my cab. i'll call you later. (laughter) >> rose: tell me about him as an actor and the portrayal he gives you of this character
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>> he's obviously so humble, i knew he would be good. i've worked with him in two other coldies, in chicago doing theerkts second city, and what i saw in this movie was this hunger for the moment, this tenacious i won't quit until i know it's true, and it was a completely different experience working with him because i felt like we were both chasing down a stray cat >> rose: but iseman is a larger than life character >> yes >> rose: and you say he found a way to get inside that didn't do impressions of the larger than life character >> absolutely. if you meet the real steve iseman, he's mark baum in this movie, he's very funny and reads comic books and he brought the vulnerability and you can see the anger and betrayal by the world in every scene he plays that's so perfect. and he got a seat on the ground with a character and would have been a very easy character to go
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super big with, but steve just has amazing instincts. he came in knowing -- he has a big speech moment in the end of the movie that could have easily been hollywood strings, this is the moralistic moment, and all steve did was to say i don't want it to be that. i'm, like, i don't want it to be that either so we both fought against that to make it as real as it could with having it be steve. he has great instincts. he knows what's for real and what he wants to see and works and pushes to get there. the other guy he reminded me of was christian bale. i thought the two were similar in their approach >> as actors yeah. as far as huge amounts of preparation and an amazing nose for the truth. i thought the two of them were sinned of similar >> rose: -- kinsinned -- the twe kind of similar >> rose: actors do that
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as a director you encourage them. i told steve before the movie, i said, i would love for you to have put on some weight because iseman's got some weight. so steve showed up 20 pounds heavier and i was, like, oh, i didn't know you would put on that much weight. the same thing with christian. i said, i'd love you to spend time with the guy. he spends a day and a half with the guy, gets his clothes, learns to play drums like the real guy >> rose: learns to play drums? yes >> rose: don't do that overnight, do you? >> no, and especially not the kind he had to play. especially speed metal. it's the hardest drums. and in three weeks he learned this song with double-kick drums and played it nonstop. you realize a lot of these guys think of these guys as big movie stars, oh, christian bale, and
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they're really good >> rose: was it a hard book to make into a film? >> you know, for me, i've always been looking for this chance to mess with the form. i've always known that, you know, film has been around for a long time and i've seen some movies that i really liked, like 24 hour party people by michael winterbottom, american splen tore with paul giomatti, where they played with play breaking the fourth wall and i always felt audiences could handle that. 30 years ago? no. so when i read this book, yes, it's difficult, but i knew if i played with the fourth wall, i could pull it off, and there could be a different kind of kinetic energy to it, so that's exactly what drew me to it >> rose: what does brad play? he plays a great character. he's the mentor to the two sort of green horns.
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he's the old gun slinger who hung up his guns and hated wall street so much and now he's become an end times prepper. he really thinks the whole world is going down. it's based on a true guy. these young guys convince him to come out of retirement to help them so they can trade these big-time options >> here's what the "new yorker" magazine said. said, lately before mckay goes to bed he's been talking about climate change particularly the paper from stanford he read about the sixth mass extinction. he said he's thinking about doing a movie about it, it will be real but with cool stuff. he's thinking about immigration narrative. do you think there is a way to do a movie about immigration where people that are anti-immigration will watch it and have some degree of
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enjoyment? this is true! we kind of did that. i wonder if there is a way to do this that's not condescending or judgmental, like, we're all in this and trying to figure it out. can you do a movie where guys protect our border, these sort of hapless characters and end up crossing over into new mexico and have to get back in, i don't know. >> rose: but do you as a writer and director have a keen sense of interest in public affairs? >> you know, i just think we live an incredibly unusual times right now and i think there are a lot of things happening now that have never happened in the history of man kind. i mean, the giant media machine that we have in the united states with thousands of tv channels. >> rose: that's why you made anchor man about the basic cable industry. >> exactly. and i think we have, you know, obviously this interconnectedness going on with our financial system and the internet. there are so many things happening. then we have climate change
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which possibly could be the biggest threat to mankind ever. so i think to ignore these subjects would be foolish. i think we're living -- >> rose: and you can find absurdity in all of them? they're comedy and insight as well. >> exactly. they're all crazy absurd. >> rose: what's the relationship between you and will? >> right now we just have this crazy partnership, started back at "saturday night live." >> rose: you were the head writer at the time? >> yes. he comes from a divorced family, his dad is a musician. i'm from a divorced faly, my dad is a musician. we're basically the same age and laugh at the same things. what i like about will is he doesn't believe any of the hype. he is in no way full of himself. both of us believe in no drama and both of us sort of constantly laugh about the fact that people are stressing out about movies, whereas in 40 years we're not going to be watching movies anymore. we're watching 4d virtual
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reality disks. , so yeah, it's been an amazing relationship. and he's got a great sort of view of the world. he's politically social yet not strident, has an amazing sense of humor. >> rose: are you interested in the presidential primaries? (laughter) >> i guess so. sort of like finding the power in your fridge went out and everything is rotten inside. uld turn that color!ow bread >> rose: you didn't know it could be this bad, is that what you're saying? >> that is what i'm saying. it is really, really shocking. i'm 47, and i feel like a 90-year-old man when i talk about it. like i have to tell my daughters, it didn't used to be this way! >> rose: and when you think of trump, do you want simply to create a character like trump knowing that it would be an instant success on television? >> you know, we actually on funny or die, the web site we're on together, we did a character
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called dinaldo trumpez, talking about drinking tequila in mexico and he wants to build a wall. it's beyond the bounds of satire. the movie network looks so quantity and rustic. >> rose: it does. it's so far out there. i mean -- >> if network happened now, you wouldn't even be blink. you would be, like, the guy got people to yell out their windows and move on. >> rose: you said in the "new yorker" magazine, you said i don't think it's the movie is just about banking,eth about oil companies, roft, education and how the system goes wrong. how does the system go wrong? what happens that all of a sudden you have a bubble? >> i think this is one of the big questions confronting us as
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humans in the next 100 years is how it's very easy to start a system, to create an institution, but it's very hard to maintain them. and corruption, especially when we're doing as well as we are, and there is all this money floating around, tends to seep in faster and faster and in more and more clever ways, and i think this is the next great question we have to confront, whether it is climate change or banking or the military or whatever it is. i would even point to terrorism to say that a lot of those terrorists are coming from countries that are crazily corrupt where the bottom 90% have no money and the top 10% have money. i think it's the number one issue and that the what kind of drew me to this movie is i think that dynamic is something that needs to be heavily explored and discussed in kind of an abstract way. >> rose: what's on the drawing board? >> as far as movies? >> rose: yes. i'm looking at a couple of different movies.
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i have an interesting one about -- well, immigration with will farrell and i are talking about. i'm looking at a movie about sociopaths that's a little darker, the idea that our culture eventually will want to cultivate sociopaths. they do well, make a lot of money, great for corporations, great as surgeons, sort of a dark comedy i'm playing with. there is another script i'm kicking around which is a dark superhero script. i have about three or four projects i'm kicking around and you always see which one takes root. >> rose: takes its own direction. >> exactly. >> rose: great to have you. a pleasure. >> rose: "the big short" is the movie. back in a moment. stay with us. >> rose: the great ron howard is here. he is an academy award winning director and producer. his iconic films include apollo
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13, a beautiful mind and frost nixon. his latest is "in the heart of the sea," a true story of disaster that inspired moby dick. here's the trailer for the film. >> we were headed for ten of sanity. aberrations, phantoms.
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thrust your weight about. hope to superstition. >> tragedy is the story of men. and a demon.
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>> rose: i am pleased to have ron howard back at this table. welcome. >> good to be here as always, charlie. >> rose: thank you. the true story. what's the story? >> ship essex left in 1820 looking for whales. it was a whaling ship. >> rose: the whaling business moved further out into the ocean. >> the whales had been hunted not to near extinction but pushed further and further out offthat was the industry at the time. whale oil was lighting the streets of paris, london, new york, philadelphia, lowering crime rates, it was a huge market. it was political in mits own way. it was as relevant as the energy industry is today. so these guys were, for all reasons of ambition, trying to feed their families, going
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further and further out, and they were struck by a whale, a bull sperm whale sank the ship, and they were forced to, you know, abandon and struggle to survive, and this is that story. and 30 years later it inspired melville to write moby dick. i had no idea that that mythic figure, that mythic whale had, in fact, existed. so -- >> rose: did somebody come along and write a story about that which is the movie? >> daniel filbert, you know, wrote the story about the essex which has been more or less forgotten. i wanted to make a movie about a sea setting. i had done splash and cacoon,
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trying to get over my phobia of the ocean. >> rose: what's your phobia, drowning? >> the darkness and isolation of it and the hugeness. i don't feel like i would have any control out there. directors like to control. it's a very powerful story and i felt like it's something original to offer audiences. when i say that, it seems a little odd. of course, there is a classical nature to this. so many of the themes do resonate too and from a cinematic standpoint, you know, i don't think this provey could have been put together this way without movie technology that's finally in place. when i saw life of pi and i realized this story could exist and that character could not -- of the whale would not be something the audience would have to forgive or suspend their
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disbelief but instead you could have a totally immersive experience in the theater watching this. >> rose: what's that technology? >> c.g.i. photo realism. it's been with us a long time. in '87, willow which one of the first c.g.i. shots ever. photo realism is always a challenge and in recent years, you know, that breakthrough has been made and allows directors to get more and more of what they are dreaming of imagining in their minds on to the screen. >> rose: i want to get back to the story in just a moment, but the technical challenge of this is huge. >> well, the technical challenge was huge. >> rose: you have a big water tank out there but -- >> it was a combination of things, charlie. i think it's probably the most challenging movie i've ever made. >> rose: because? well, the logistics.
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the narrative, the structure of this movie is a little bit unusual. it's the drama, the demands on the actors. they had to drop weight to, you know, remarkable degree. they were adrift for 190 days. so we shot in sequence. i had to keep minding that and create an environment where they could flourish. and then there are the technical challenges of both treating tanks and matching that with things we'll shoot in the real ocean. the prep and planning had to be so thorough, yet a live action movie, so at the end of the day you never know what elements you will be dealing with. >> rose: did you have to go through a certain kind of training with the actors to deal with the totality of this movie? >> you know, they went to sailor school, you know, and whaling
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school, and we had technical advisors, we had help from, you know -- there is a fantastic museum in nantucket, another one in mystic, and new bedford as well, and we had a captain from the south street seaport here who knows all about the tall ships and helped us with that, cap tan jonathan. >> rose: and you had to re-create nantucket. >> that was old school hollywood stuff. that was do your design, do your ild the set, and i felt like i was a kid back on the m.g.m. lot when we were doing that set. speaking of m.g.m., when i was about eight years old, i was doing a movie and my dad was with me and we went wandering along. i saw a lot of people in sort of tricorn hats and we followed them and it was a remake of mutiny and the bounty and there was a stage on the lot that had the big tank and there was the bounty and marlon brando was in
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the clark gable park and charles lawton was playing the captain and i remember standing and watching this thing float in the tank and never imagining i would wind up direct ago scene with similar challenges. >> rose: what's interesting is the first scene in the movie where melbo shows up to interview the last survivor of the essex. >> and it's him with his burning desire to get to the bottom of the story. this guy wasn't even talking to his wife about it. >> it was survivor guilt. had no idea at the time what brandon gleason, the actor who plays the older nixon, tom holland plays the younger nickerson, who much of the movie is seen through his eyes -- >> rose: why is that you always choose somebody to see the movie through? >> i like the immediacy of the point of view approach. i feel like i want these
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adventure shores not to be just grand canvasses but focused. if you're an audience member you get a feeling of what would it be like to be there. that's one of my guiding principles. when i stage scenes, plan them, edit them, it's always with someone like that in mind. >> rose: give me a sense of what it was like for you to be there the moment at your worst fear, is the questions i ask. >> on the one hand you are dealing with a mythic figure, and it was interesting to play with it. also, the men themselves were sort of transformed by this crisis. i mean, you can imagine, they went out there with a lot of ego, hu hubris, pride. that was the period of manifest destiny. our job was to conquer the world and everything else should bow to us.
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here they were confronted with this force of nature and, after the whale sank the ship, in their journal you can see them wondering is this punishment, divine retribution for the life we've lived because whaling, that was slaughter, it was the most brutal kind of mercenary industry you can imagine. >> rose: so on the one hand we have the ship versus the whale. >> okay. >> rose: and on board you have the conflict between pollard, the captain. >> and that is very much out of the filbert's book and his research. pollard, he sort of reflected that, you know, the class system that existed in nantucket at the time, that was a little more european, i suppose, in some ways, and owen chase was more of that jacksonian kind of new american, not from the island, but, you know, expected the respect of all he had achieved
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and by, all accounts, you know, he was kind of the michael jordan of it all. he could just do anything and some feared him but everybody admired him. >> rose: played by chris hemsworth. >> chris hemsworth from rush and, of course, thor, and snow white and the huntsman. but i had a great experience with him on rush. i thought he more than inhabited the character. i felt he developed the character in surprisingly creative and ambitious ways. so when he read it i thought he was born to play this part as well. i had twice before prepared movies and couldn't ultimately get the financing together and make the production go. >> rose: early in your career. fairly early and in the middle of my career. early in the early '80s, i wanted to do a true story about
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the ship rainbow warrior, and it had been confiscated in spanish waters and there was a cool escape and i tried to make a movie out of that, and i could never get that together. then, oh, around 2000, i wanted to make the sea wolf, jack london's book. again, i like that sort of 19th century, rugged adventure with the sea testing men, you know, on kind of their -- the moral dilemmas that arise. well, i didn't get that movie off the ground either. the reasons were kind of mutual because i didn't think i could necessarily achieve it in a way that i could present it to audiences and really fulfill the possibilities of the story. when chris brought me this -- >> rose: chris brought it to you? >> he brought me this project. it's a script the producer had had for about 12 years, since
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filbert's book was published. i looked at it and i thought, the technology is here to do. this i have all these experiences behind me. i think i know how to do it now in a way i couldn't have confidence before and i thought hemsworth was the perfect guy to inhabit that role. >> rose: and then you got benjamin walker. >> a great new york actor. tom holland, an excellent cast. >> rose: where did you find the ship? >> in england, a tall ship that gets used in movies and they also use id for educational purposes and it's very busy. it's called the phoenix. it was about the size of the essex. we had to convert it ever so slightly with set pieces and things to make it look like a whaler, and then we had to build the deck of that and use that on
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a tank with hydraulics for the whale attack, for a storm that we had at sea, for other action. then we went out to sea in the canary islands back on the phoenix -- >> rose: and filmed that. -- and filmed that and got details that way. we went with the actors who had gone to sailing schools and filmed that in the whale boats after they were adrift. >> rose: the essex setting sail. >> take the helm! (men shouting)
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>> watch your step! >> rose: there you go. you get a sense of it. that's chase making it look
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easy. look, it was thrilling to enter this world and learn something about it and i really think this period of time between getting to make rush, hurricane about that formula one scene, you know, trying to convey that in film and this story has been one of the richest, most interesting, creative periods for me. it's a fun time in my life. i'm getting to make documentaries, my kids are all grown. >> rose: you mean the best time of your life? >> may be. i've had really great, rich periods. that kind of around sort of making apollo 13 is particularly rewarding. >> rose: what's the time between apollo 13 and the beautiful mind. >> not a lot, five or six years ago. i did ransom and the grinch in that period. i like to move around and explore. >> rose: you do another one from the trilogy? >> the robert langdon mystery. >> rose: and this one is called. >> inferno. we finished filming in europe.
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a great experience, a lot of fun. you know, the business side is more and more examplecated. in every aspect of media there is a transformation going on that puts a lot of stress on economics but it also opens up a lot of channels creatively, and i think it's incredibly exciting. >> rose: a lot of people working at hbo and showtime and doing remarkable stuff. >> it's broadening and with it audiences' tastes are growing more sophisticated and you're targeting specific audience also you couldn't justify before. as a storyteller, that's exciting. >> rose: this is a scene on the ocean, when the crew of the essex is getting ready for a storm. here it is. >> the squall is about.
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we're headed into a squall more than 8 knots and it's moving faster. >> let it come. they need a good baptism. let them know our work has begun. >> if we don't shorten the sail, it will catch us on the beam. >> chase, we will stand on. mr. lawrence, hold it. >> if the men can't handle a day like this, then god help us all. >> rose: there a conflict between the characters. >> and out of filbert's book, this is his first voyage, pollard. he came from a famous whaling family and, so, you know, he was determined to prove himself. a lot of pressure from the family to come through. you know, and again, a huge -- you know, the companies
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investing. they were more than entrepreneurs. this is an industry. there was national pride at stake. i mean, all of it. so he was determined to go and, you know, the events that follow, which are an horrific storm and a knockdown all came out of the true story. >> rose: how much do you enjoy the preparation before you even start shooting getting to know the story that you want to -- >> i love it. i dodged movies based on real events for a couple of decades as a director because i thought it would limit my creativity, but i've always loved history. apollo 13 was my first one and taught me it was liberating, it was creatively inspiring. the other thing is not only is the research amazing and not only do you get opportunities to interview remarkable people, pick their brains, try to inhabit their head space to a degree, but the stories you can
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choose, the more credibility because the extreme event happened. no one can argue with it. i'll tell you very quickly. i always do test screenings, you know, with the cards, where people fill out their likes and dislikes. even though i have final cut, i like to know how audiences are responding. early on with apoly13, we had a great test screening, universally appreciated. there was one guy who rated it poor. >> rose: the guy you want to talk to. >> immediately that's the card i look for. and, so, of course, there had been no advertising. nobody knew anything about apollo 13 or remembered that mission, particularly. but this guy wrote, poor, terrible, wouldn't recommend it. i couldn't figure out why. i flipped over the page and said please comment on the ending. he wrote in more giant letters -- more hollywood b.s., they would never survive. he didn't know it was a true story. i said this is why you do a true
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story because they did survive and isn't that remarkable. >> rose: and the talent of the filmmaker is to be able to make a movie when people know the end. >> well, i've discovered with that and have seen it over and over again and has helped me when i make fictional movies is the more the details are interesting -- you might know overall what happened, but when you see a movie and you're a moviegoer, you can kind of guess the endings of most movies and would probably be close. what's fascinating is you don't know what the characters go through and experience and you don't know whose going to make it, not going to make it but you also don't have an idea about just the tension that can be involved in navigating these various crises points. whatever tone, whatever jan remarks every movie has to be a suspense movie, and that's what i've discovered making apollo 13. and i think this, in the heart of the sea, is kind of a cousin to apollo 13. >> rose: it's and survival.
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you go out with one attitude, you know, an intense thing happens, changes everything, and you come back and some people transform and other people tragically don't, and that's sort of the story of the essex. i think the -- >> rose: transform or adapt? well, both, you know. i think, philosophically, based on some of the notes that i saw of some of the men of the essex, there was a report of philosophical transformation as well. they went out with a hubris of this is my realm, i'm a seaman, a whaler, and what happened? one of those whales turned on them with such ferocity that they began to doubt everything about their place in the world. >> rose: this is another look at the whale. here it is.
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>> what was that, mr. lawrence? god damn it. mr. lawrence! (pounding sound) (screaming)
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>> we did not exaggerate. >> rose: was that filmed in the sea? >> that was a combination. a lot of it was filmed on the tank and, of course, the whale t that is the size of the whale as described, you know, by the men of the essex, that big. >> rose: what color was the whale? >> well, the whale, in fact, was not white. there was an albino white that melvo used. but i wanted to get a sense of it and i found out there was a kind of a skin disorder older whales can get that make them look blotchy and a little bit white, but, you know, it's been fascinating to bring this story to audiences today, and i think -- you know, i think it's something that sort of demands to be seen on the big screen. i think you have to find that as a movie director today, you know, because there are more and more distractions, more and more reasons to do other things and,
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yet, you know, the big screen movie experience is still something that can be very memorable. >> rose: has robert langdon turned out to be the character you wanted him to be because -- you know, i thought he had the possibilities of being indiana jones. >> well, you know, the dan brown books always guide us, and langdon is a man of intellectual action. >> rose: right. and that's his superpower is, you know, his ability to recall, to problem solve. but, you know, he's not a man of action. i think that's what always attracted tom hanks to the character. he's not solving things by punching people out or whipping or shooting them. it's always about trying to
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outthink. so, you know, i enjoy those movies, they're a lot of fun to make, they take you to all corners of the world, especially europe, delving into areas. tom loves playing robert langdon and i love directing tom, and the dan brown stories are also very original. inferno is a fun one to stage. >> rose: at what point did he write inferno? >> the latest of the books. >> rose: great to have you. likewise. >> rose: the film is called "in the heart of the sea." it hops in theaters in i max 3-d, of course, on friday december 11th. thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at and captioning sponsored by rose communications
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captioned by media access group at wgbh >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and of multimedia news and information services worldwide.
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"film school shorts" is made possible by a grant from maurice kanbar, celebrating the vitality and power of the moving image, and by the members of kqed.
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♪ >> announcer: this is "nightly business report." with tyler mathisen and sue herera. crude fallout. conoco philips, the latest big energy company to slash its spending as oil prices stay lower for longer. tarnished brand? are the controversial comments from republican presidential candidate donald trump taking a toll on his business? and medical mysteries. the big business of finding out just about everything there is to know about your body. the first part of our series "unlocking your health" begins tonight on "nightly business report" for thursday december good evening, everyone. i'm sharon epperson in tonight for sue herera. >> and i'm tyler mathisen. welcome, everybody. stocks rose even as oil prices fell and that hasn'tpe


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